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Fr. Ron's Blog


Dear Friends,
Yesterday (presuming you are reading this on Sunday, June 5th), in the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart in Newark, Archbishop Myers ordained 24 men to the diaconate, often called the “permanent diaconate.” Among them was Bob Liwanag, a member of our parish.

What is the diaconate? The diaconate is one of the three levels of the Sacrament of Holy Orders. The other two levels are priesthood and the episcopacy (bishop).

The sign of this sacrament of service is the laying on of hands by the Bishop and the words confessed by the Church. “Almighty God, you make the Church, Christ’s body, grow to its full stature as a new and greater temple. You enrich it with every kind of grace and perfect it with a diversity of members to serve the whole body in a wonderful pattern of unity. You established a threefold ministry of worship and service, for the glory of your name. As ministers of your tabernacle you chose the sons of Levi and gave them your blessing as their everlasting inheritance. In the first days of your Church under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit the apostles of your Son appointed seven men of good repute to assist them in the daily ministry, so that they themselves might be more free for prayer and preaching.” (Prayer of Consecration, Ordination of Deacons)

For centuries, the diaconate was seen as a temporary ministry on the road to the priesthood. Today, those who travel that road are called “transitional deacons.” But on June 18, 1967, acting on a recommendation of the Second Vatican Council, Pope Paul VI restored the diaconate as a Permanent ministry in the Church and the first deacons were ordained in 1971. Since the late seventies, Deacon Bob Thomann, and since the nineties, Deacon Nick DeLucca have been serving here at Mount Carmel.

In the Rite of Ordination, the Bishop says the following words to the gathered congregation, “This man (the deacon) will draw new strength from the gift of the Holy Spirit. He will help the bishop and his body of priests as a minister of the word, of the altar, and of charity. He will make himself a servant of all. As a minister of the altar he will proclaim the Gospel, prepare the sacrifice, and give the Lord’s body and blood to the community of believers. It will also be his duty, at the bishop’s discretion, to bring God’s word to believer and unbeliever alike, to preside over public prayer, to baptize, to assist at marriages and bless them, to give viaticum to the dying, and to lead the rites of burial. Once he is consecrated by the laying on of hands that comes to us from the apostles and is bound more closely to the altar, he will perform works of charity in the name of the bishop or the pastor.”

The actual responsibilities of deacons varies from parish to parish throughout the country. In some places which experience a shortage of priests, deacons serve as parish administrators. In many parishes they head various ministries, in addition to their liturgical roles. Here at Mount Carmel, our deacons have been engaged in the life of the parish in a number of ways, assisting at the altar, preaching, celebrating marriages (that are not nuptial masses), leading wake services and the celebrations of Morning Prayer during Holy Week, heading the RCIA and our Stewardship Committee. I am sure that Deacon Bob Liwanag will move into ministries that fit his talents and interests. But this will take time, as it does even with the newly ordained priests that are assigned here.

So, for the present, Deacon Bob will minister as a deacon at today’s 11:00 AM Mass. Even if you can’t make it, when you do see him wish him well and offer a prayer for him, and his wife, Tessie, as they both begin this journey of ministry in our parish. God bless them both.

On another matter, one that I thought I would not have to ad-dress again. The parking deck. In the February 21st Sunday bulletin, I wrote, “To clarify again, I have told both Village officials and BCIA officials, the parish will never endorse the deck. I am not in a position to know if the location is best, if the financial projections are the most accurate or if it best an-swers the needs for parking in the Village. But if I can be com-fortable that the parish concerns have been met, the parish will be neutral in this process.” Despite what you may or may not have heard, that remains the parish position. I have not en-dorsed the present plan. I still have a concern about the change in directionality of Passaic and Hudson Streets which our traf-fic consultant does not believe is necessary. Beyond that the aesthetics of the deck, its size, proportionality to surrounding buildings and the streetscape it creates is an individual decision to be made.
God bless,
Fr. Ron


Mass Schedule

Weekend Liturgies
Saturday, 5:30 p.m.
8:00 a.m., 9:30 a.m.,
11:00 a.m., 12:30 p.m.,
3 p.m. (Spanish), 6:30 p.m.
Weekday Liturgies
Monday thru Friday,
6:30 a.m., 8:30 a.m.,
and 12 noon
Saturday, 8:30 a.m. only
Holy Days
Eve: 7:30pm (anticipated)
6:30am, 8:30am, and 12noon 




Click Here for the Video in English and Spanish